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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK
BBC pundits on Athens final
Jan Molby
Jan Molby
Former Liverpool midfielder and Five Live summariser

Liverpool lost to AC Milan in the Champions League final because they did not take advantage of the spells during the match when they were on top.

Javier Mascherano stayed close to Kaka until he was taken off
If Javier Mascherano had not been substituted he would have been the first Liverpool player out at Kaka putting him under pressure, as he did all night

When you dominate possession like Liverpool did in the first half and get in situations where you put crosses in, or take shots from distance, you have to make it count.

But Liverpool did not have enough quality in attack to do that.

That is because the one thing that manager Rafa Benitez has failed to do in his three years in charge at Anfield is to bring in some proven firepower up front.

Milan had the luck when they needed it with the first goal - when Andrea Pirlo's shot deflected in off Pippo Inzaghi - and they had a bit of luck with the second goal too.

If Javier Mascherano had not been substituted he would have been the first Liverpool player out at Kaka putting him under pressure in the build-up, as he did all night.

But he was not under pressure and, for the first time in the match, that allowed Kaka to slip a little ball in behind the back four for Inzaghi to add a second. It was a great run and finish by the striker too.

When it did come, the Liverpool goal was too late.

They never really pressurised Milan in the closing stages and the Italians were always going to be capable of running down the clock.

606: DEBATE
Peter

In the end you just have to say 'well done' to Milan.

They maybe should not have been let into Europe because of the match-fixing scandal in Italy.

But they have been allowed in the competition and they have reached the final on merit.

Carlo Ancelotti's side gave us some wonderful performances - in the quarter-final away at Bayern Munich and in both legs of the semi-final against Manchester United - and here they are as winners.

Even as a Liverpool fan you have to find it somewhere in your heart to accept they have won the Champions League and that is no mean feat.

Graham Taylor
Graham Taylor
Former England manager and Five Live summariser

For most of the game the team in red, Liverpool, were in charge.

But what they didn't do was create one chance inside Milan's area, other than the goal - which was right at the death.

That was a big a failing for them and they could have done a lot more.

To change that, from a personal point of view, I would have brought Peter Crouch on earlier than the 78th minute.

The changes that Rafa Benitez made were fine but I would have liked to have seen them happen 10 minutes earlier, and for Steven Gerrard to have dropped back into midfield then.


Jan Molby and Graham Taylor were speaking on BBC Radio Five Live.

SEE ALSO
AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool
23 May 07 |  Europe
Comment: Reds fall short
23 May 07 |  Football
Liverpool Player Rater
15 Dec 06 |  Live Text
Champions League photos
23 May 07 |  Football


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